On-Line Styling Session

Like a chef, I can’t imagine doing my work without a few key ingredients to hand.

For example, a successful colour analysis can’t be achieved without having a set of specially dyed fabrics. These tools, along with a keen eye and sense for the qualities in a person’s skin, eye and hair colour provide results that not only update an image, but can boost self confidence and esteem in both private life and in the work place.

To carry out a colour analysis or indeed any other image session, it is impossible to work without the key ingredient of them all. People.

Or is it?

Personally, the thought of working remotely even with today’s fast moving technology seems counter productive to what I do.

I love the privilege of working closely with people to create a result that very often, they say they wish they’d done years ago!

When it comes down to personal image, nothing is more personal, than actually talking about it.

With every new style session, an initial consultation is carried out to create a personally tailored map. Questions range from favourite colours and style challenges to discussing body shape. The information gathered is key to a successful outcome but should be handled with sensitivity and care.

Photo: Lia Edwards  Rachel with Margareta-Maria Heinrich

Without exception, these questions can trigger various emotions and responses whether conciously, or not. Reactions can include anything from subtle eye movement to physical shifts in body language and changes in skin colour.

Without seeing someone in the flesh, It would be easy to miss out vital clues on how they are feeling as they are taken through the various stages of a personal image makeover to its final conclusion.

The thought then of conducting a style session over the phone and via Skype was the last thing on my mind, when I got an email to ask for just that.

Here I take up the challenge to see how it works!

Personal Profile

  • *Freya is a primary school teacher in her mid-thirties and is returning to teaching after looking after two young children. She needs an updated wardrobe to go with her new post.
  • Freya suffers from a condition known as hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) and colours up easily around the neckline and facial area, so it was vital that her clothing is comfortable and not restrictive. This meant as much natural fibre as possible as well as carefully selected styles that were away away from problem areas like the neckline and underarm area.

Choosing the right styles would not only help Freya to look cool, but help her feel cool and also disguise the process happening in the first place.

  • Freya needed more choice in tops and blouses. Experience in on-line shopping meant she spent more time returning clothes than keeping them.
  • She needed clothing that was easy to move around in whilst working with groups of active young children.
  • She wanted her style to be casual, without trying too hard and a look that reflected her age.

With each phone session I created a list of the items she was looking for to fit around her budget, size, fabric and colour etc. This would include an image of the clothing, the brand, size and the best online site selling the item. All she had to do was order them and try them on!

I also created a fashion/mood board to give Freya a visual picture of what her new wardrobe would look like and sent her a colour booklet so she could go shopping and match up her best colours.

Summary

Conducting the style sessions over the phone, allowed me to concentrate on every detail of Freya’s goals without distraction. As well as listening, I was able to do considerable note taking. Great for in filling in any gaps. (this could be perceived as rude with someone in front of me)

Dealing with personal issues was easier than I thought, and Freya felt comfortable and confident enough to tell me everything that was necessary to establish a clear working trust between us. Again, I think the phone session helped, and acted as a ‘safety barrier’

I enjoyed the on-line session and I can say it works and offers a good substitute especially if you live too far from the city, decent shops or you don’t have time to shop. However, it won’t ever replace being present and working through often personal stages of an image consultation (which can be a lot of fun working together!) this to me results in a more valuable and without doubt, a far more personal service.

Testimonial from Freya

I initially approached Rachel on recommendations from two friends who had been extremely happy with the services she had provided. Our initial consultation was via telephone and I felt immediately at ease talking to Rachel as she is so warm, friendly and has a genuine desire to help. After each conversation we had, Rachel provided a detailed summary of what we had discussed and she included links to recommended sites/products which she felt fitted my needs.Overall Rachel and I had several conversations either via telephone or Skype and she addressed each and every concern of mine with multiple suggestions and detailed responses.

The end result is that I have a colour palette which is tailored to me and I have a new confidence in myself and the way I look leaving me feeling ready to start work again!

*Not her real name

‘‘The best money I’ve ever invested!”

Take a look at an excerpt of actor John Pirkis’s blog: Diary of a Failed actor- John highlights how his experience with me on a style and personal shopping trip gives him confidence and direction in both his personal and working life.

Do you want to see how a shopping trip can make you feel on top of the world?

Get in touch for a consultation: rachel@rachel-moss.com


A Step By Step Guide To Personal Shopping

When people ask me what I do for a living, I try to sum it up as concisely as possible. From the What image would you like to project conversation to the full menu. Wardrobe PlanningColour Analysis Makeup and Personal Shopping
From the menu, It is the personal shopping that still leaves people the most puzzled. To clear things up, this newsletter will come in two parts: The guide to personal shopping and the guide to wardrobe planning. 

Being a style coach is about listening and building trust. It is creating an arena that is comfortable, inspiring and motivating. The results are a personal style that is relevant, authentic and highly successful in a social and professional context.

I would like to thank two people who have inspired me to create this newsletter (and whose testimonials you can read at the end)

KAREN  Travels between Munich and New York with her career as an opera singer. She came to me looking for more colour and to move away from her New York black. Being a few inches shorter than the average German woman, Karen wanted to find a European chic and for things to fit her height and shape. Read how her shopping trip went below.

JOHN  A long time friend and actor, continues to reap the benefits from his wardrobe, colour analysis and personal shopping sessions. Being colour blind, we had to build a strong wardrobe in identifiable colours, tones and styles to help him secure acting roles.The investment continues to pay off and allows him to feel on top of his game. Read more about his experience below.

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 PERSONAL SHOPPING IS FOR EVERYONE ELSE!

Having spoken to various groups of people over the years, I have come to realise that although many have heard of personal shopping, they think it’s not something for them but rather for everyone else. It can seem intimidating or out of reach. It’s what rich people do or bored hollywood housewives, right?

Wrong!

The people who use a personal shopper, use one from all kinds of reasons, backgrounds, cultures, ages, shapes, sizes and budgets. (and no, not just actors and opera singers!)
It is why talking to people, and creating workshops are important. They help bring the subject closer to the audience, making it more attainable and less intimidating.

You dont need money to look good, but you do need to know how to use the right tricks and techniques that apply to you and everything that is unique about you.

WHO USES A PERSONAL SHOPPER?

Take for example business professionals. They need to project an image that matches their role and responsibility in the company they represent. How they look and what they say should be unequivocal and create an impact before a word is even spoken. When it comes to climbing the career ladder, details matter and people do notice. 

Actors need to create a strong first impression. New York based John Pirkis has often seconds to gain the confidence of potential investors when he goes up for a new role. Dressing the part requires attention to detail.The suit John wears is from one of our shopping trips and continues to earn him praise in castings. His blog: ‘Diary of a Failed Actor’ describes perfectly the highs and lows of his profession.

Photograph of John Pirkis by Dan Harwood Stamper

 SOCIAL-There are social reasons. Someone may have lost their confidence (and their way) from a separation or divorce.They want to bring back some of the style they once had and start dating again. A session with a style coach can help them find a more relevant image while giving them the confidence and motivation to make a fresh start.

FAMILY-There are those who have raised a family and are looking to return to work or start a new career. This means bringing an image up to date and in line with other job applicants and is also an opportunity to turn a new page.
Personal shoppers are booked for birthdays, anniversaries and as leaving presents and gift vouchers are a popular choice.

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COPY CAT- It is no good copying a look in a magazine if it doesn’t translate to your body shape or the person you are. We all know that models don’t represent the majority of womens’ body shapes (or mens for that matter) but copying them can take out the hard work for us.

It takes time to develop a style and find something that you are comfortable with.
Being in a neutral, non-judgemental position allows me to speed up the process!
ON THE STREET- Surveys say that women dominate 65% of the global market. When it comes to retail shopping, It is evident there are still huge gaps in the market. Often I see women (and men) walking around stores in an effort and a daze trying to find something to wear. Help is either minimal or intrusive and not much in between.They exit the store minutes later, only to repeat the process somewhere else.

The experience is nil and the frustration is high.

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STEP BY STEP GUIDE TO SHOPPING

  • MEETING UP- To begin with there is an informal but focused consultation to discuss specific desires and goals. Meeting in person works two ways. It allows me to get a clear idea of bodyshape, height and natural colouring, aswell as the persons character and personality. It also helps build a level of trust and establish a friendly working relationship.
  • LOOK BOOK- Having a photograph to work with beforehand, allows me to prepare a few images I think are suitable (like a look-book) for the person I am working with. This helps establish a focus for ideas and drums up excitement. Together we discuss style, shape, colour, fabric, accessories and anything else that is important
  • RESEARCH-Before a shopping trip, research has to be carried out. This is an important aspect for a successful shop and the focus of everything I know about that person so far. From where to find the right length pair of pants, skirt, dress, jacket, collar type, material, tailoring, colour, pattern, accessories and so on. This also applies to skin care and makeup

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  • SHOPPING DATE-The big date has arrived and what we’ve been waiting for! When trying on clothes, I advise people to come wearing (easy to get in and out of) clothing. To bring heels if trying on dresses and business shoes if trying on suits. Clothes that are hampered with buckles and buttons will only slow down the process!

 

  • SUCCESS- Of the clothes I select, 99% of them are bought and successfully integrated into the wardrobe. The selected items not only double the outfit choices but work with existing pieces and new alike. Guided shopping can seriously breaks old habits because they are intensive one-to-one style workouts and a time of real focus. Many people report that they not only save money on future trips but are able to shop in half their normal time.

 

  • SELF AWARENESS- Finally, these sessions are a reminder that is important to highlight the best of ourselves for ourselves. Unique aspects that over time have been forgotten or buried under the layers of life.They are about bringing those positive aspects to the surface by recognising what we have got, not what we haven’t. Knowing how to reflect these qualities increases confidence, self-esteem, self-awareness and is always an inspiration to others.
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See what Karen and John had to say!

Rachel is fantastic – she is smart, talented, genuinely positive and amazingly tactful.   I am a typical New York “everything in black” girl, and also a good 6 inches shorter than the average German woman.The lovely european chic-casual style has been a mystery to me since I moved here. I had pretty much given up on ever finding clothes in Germany when I went to Rachel for help

She has a brilliant eye for colour and form, and after our initial consultation, even before we went shopping, she had me thinking differently about how to dress and what to put together.She has the patience of a saint – I had extremely vague answers to her questions about my personal style, since “black” has been my answer to everything for years.The shopping experience was amazing.  

I generally give up after one hour, but two and a half hours with Rachel passed in the blink of an eye.Not only did I end up with some beautiful clothes in lovely colours, but we also got some fantastic things in black that actually fit me.

Rachel very tactfully explained to me how to mix and match to achieve the look I wanted, and much to my delight, I can apply her advice to both my old and my new clothes.My “What Not To Wear” moments have dramatically decreased and miraculously, my mother, my husband, and my garment-district friends all love my new clothes!If you want assistance, advice or even just a ray of sunshine in your wardrobe, I highly recommend consulting Rachel for any and all of your fashion needs.

 

John
Rachel, I cannot thank you enough for the extraordinary results you have achieved for me! Not only restyling my wardrobe, but also taking the dread I had of shopping for clothes. Being colour blind just added to my problem.
Your patience, calm energy and passion for the task in hand made the event and effortless joy and education.
I feel confident to venture out on a shopping trip of my own and even look forward to it.
Thank you again.

 ‘‘People will stare. Make it worth their while” Harry Winston


Step By Step Guide To Wardrobe Planning

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There is no getting away from it. My work is personal. In order to get to the heart of someones style, I have to get to the heart of their wardrobe. This means sifting through items that no longer measure up. (literally) ultimately clothes that stay, should fit into two categories. They should Fit and they should Feel Good (lets call it FFG!)

COLOURS- should compliment the natural tones of skin, eyes and hair and styles should match body shape, frame and personality.

DRESS UP-Many people dress older or younger than they really are, or in clothes that are larger or smaller than their true size.

REASONS-Over time, we can lose sight of ourselves. Styles we once looked good in, no longer fit and the colours we used to love, no longer make us feel or look as good. There are clothes handed down by well meaning friends or relatives which don’t fit (they don’t have the FFG!) and why in the end, they get discarded.

They were bought with someone else in mind. certainly not for you and not for your body shape or character. Whether you are selecting your own clothes or given them, try them on first. If they don’t have the FFG factor then please don’t feel obliged to take them or buy them!

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SHOPPING-With relatives can prove tricky. In the heat of the moment, outfits are bought that you wouldn’t otherwise see yourself in but you oblige (because they bought something too) It’s not something you would have chosen, and most likely will be worn once.Well meaning relatives can play dress up in things they think you will look good in.This also comes with obvious problems. Then there are just plain old habits of buying the same styles in the same colours like, forever!

GRACEFULLY AGEING- Take my mum for example. She used to apply the Mary Quant style eye makeup that was standard in the 70’s. She even painted in her lower lashes. She looked amazing. By the 80’s though she adopted different methods in both makeup and dress. This didn’t diminish from her style but only increased it. With each decade she made small changes that bought her up to date.These changes were subtle but transformative. Now in her early 70’s she is as stylish (and as beautiful) as ever.

It is so important to try things on and see why they don’t work on a particular body shape and to get into the habit of looking in the mirror!

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 STEP BY STEP GUIDE TO WARDROBE PLANNING

  • Firstly, an informal consultation is arranged to establish specific desires, goals and problem areas. Whether you want to create a formal business look, a change of style or to add a few key pieces. An appointment is made to visit your home and your wardrobe!
  •  Clothes are tried on to establish what should stay and what should go. This is based on Items that no longer fit the body shape, personality or lifestyle, aswell as colours that no longer flatter the natural colouring of hair, skin and eyes and finally clothes that are old and worn out. Where there are any gaps, a shopping list is made of the necessary items to complete the wardrobe.
  • Once the wardrobe is de-cluttered and organised, the next step is to mix and recycle the remaining clothes back in. Planning a wardrobe is not about spending money on new clothes but knowing how to breathe new life back into what you already have. Mixing suit jackets with jeans, and skirts with vintage tops and jackets. Utilising hats, belts, scarves and other accessories to maximum effect.
  •  By the end of a wardrobe session, you will have gained awareness for styles that fit your body shape and personality creating your unique look. You will find shopping and choosing individual pieces easier and faster and will have the confidence that the pieces you do pick will sit comfortably into your wardrobe. This is the true meaning of finding your style!

We often stop wearing things that dont make us feel good without knowing why-you already have the answer-Trust your instinct!

If you would like to see what a wardrobe session can do for you, please get in touch for an informal and friendly chat: rachel@rachel-moss.com

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New Look

Lia Edwards is a Munich based portrait photographer originally from the UK. She discovered her passion for photography in 2001 while living in Sydney Australia. Read more about Lia’s work here.

Luckily for the rest of us, Lia moved to Munich in 2011. We met shortly after at a creative group meet up. She showed me a copy of a beautiful retro style photo she had taken, and I was hooked.

liavintage Kopie

Lia was the perfect choice for me to update my photos for a model agency in Munich and we have worked together on several occasions. (see photos below)

This year we created a further collaboration with our styling and photography packages. If you want the full works from makeup, wardrobe, styling and photography then talk to us for a consultation.

What makes a good photograph?

One of the most important things when you are being photographed, is to feel relaxed. We have approximately forty three muscles in our face and use the large majority of them when we laugh (even more when we frown) If you are tense, it will show in your face and body and no amount of editing will hide the fact.

Plan your photo shoot with your photographer around a day when you know you have time to get ready and have little stress as possible. Book baby sitters if you need to and think how you want to look and what you are going to wear.

Whether it is a romantic couple shoot, family gathering or head shots. Choose your clothes with care. If you are in a family portrait, think about a theme. Wearing bold colours on a dull day can create vibrant happy portraits (Lia will discuss this with you)

If they are portraits, your photos need to be something you are happy with looking at for a long time. If they are for business, an actor or model they need to get you noticed and working for you from the get go.

20141011-09(watermarked)The shot above was spotted by Mrs Robinson agency.

Even if you are experienced at having your photos taken, the first few frames of a shoot are usually a good warm-up exercise and an opportunity to get to know each other and break the ice.

As the session continues, you will feel less self-conscious. It will be these photos that you look at and share the most because they will reflect you at your most natural and relaxed.

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Hair and Make-up

For natural photographs, it is best to stick to your usual hairstyle and not to try anything too radical. The same goes for makeup. If you don’t usually wear much make-up, its best to avoid hitting the makeup counter at the last minute for a look that you wouldn’t normally go for. The chances are, you will not be happy and the makeup (which is invariably applied under bad store lighting) will not transfer well to natural daylight or studio shots.

If you need help with how to apply makeup and want to discuss a LOOK that flatters your natural colouring and features contact me!

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What makes a good photographer?

The job of a photographer is not always easy. communicator, director, stylist, (sometimes gymnast!) being able to encourage and coax and give a few concise orders in order to get the best shot and a happy customer.

Ultimately, their job is to bring out something special in your personality and character and find a way of capturing it. Good results are based on creating confidence, trust, communication and having fun working together in order to achieve the same goal.

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Memorable photography is an alchemy of everything coming together. Photographer, subject, lighting, chance moments and a desire to be part of a creative process.

Lia knows how to do this, while her returning customers and word-of-mouth serve as testament.

Note: To achieve my quick change looks, I used: 1 black dress, grey skirt, red cardigan, white blouse, blue jacket, high heels, sunglasses & a magazine.


Behind the Scenes

It was a great end to the month of July, working with Munich based portrait Photographer Lia Edwards on a styling and photographic session for a new client. 

A few weeks before the shoot, Margareta checked in for a wardrobe session with me. As owner of MMH life coaching, Margareta wanted a more International look to reflect her business.

First off, we established anything outdated in Margareta’s wardrobe and got rid of things that no longer fit or were tired and worn. At the same time, I looked for the best cut and colours to complement her figure and natural colouring.

Next, we set a date for Personal Shopping. A list of key items was created in order to fill out any gaps in the wardrobe. Margareta had fun discovering selected pieces that added volume, as well as value to her existing wardrobe.

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All that remained, was for hair and makeup and to get ready for the shoot!

As a model on clothing and photographic shoots I have first hand the experience on what is needed for getting the best results. In this work, the devil is (always) in the detail!

Having personally booked Lia for a photoshoot of my own, I was struck by the energy and quality of her work- It seemed a natural step for us to collaborate!

If you are looking to re-brand your business; update your website or simply for a fresh new look! Talk to us today and experience a professional but fun photo shoot with photos that everyone will be talking about!